Date Archives: December 2021

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Area Information | 15 Posts
Bradenton FL | 8 Posts
Buying a House | 6 Posts
Buying Homes | 2 Posts
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Dream Home | 1 Posts
Ellenton FL | 1 Posts
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Helpful Tips | 2 Posts
Holidays | 9 Posts
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Leap Year | 1 Posts
Moving | 3 Posts
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Renovations | 1 Posts
Retirement | 3 Posts
Sarasota FL | 13 Posts
Sarasota-Manatee | 41 Posts
Siesta Key FL | 1 Posts
Wagner Realty | 1 Posts
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December
27

New Year's Resolution: Find Your Florida Dream Vacation Home

Florida Vacation Home

With its amazing weather and beautiful beaches, it's not hard to see why purchasing a vacation home in Florida is the ultimate dream for thousands of people all over the world. Not only is a Florida vacation home a great escape, but it's also a fantastic investment. Florida is a hot real estate market, and it's easy to generate rental income from a second home when you're not using it

If buying a Florida vacation home is one of your New Year's resolutions this year, here are some tips from our real estate agents on how to find the right dream home for you:

  • Choose Your Location
    With so many beautiful parts of Florida, choosing one location can be a challenge. Florida is home to 1,350 miles of coast, numerous state parks, and of course, Disney World. To choose the right location, think about your personal preferences and lifestyle. Do you prefer to be on the beach or inland? Do you prefer the Atlantic or Gulf coast? If you're having trouble deciding on an area, take a look at these beautiful Bradenton homes for sale or these amazing Sarasota homes for sale for inspiration.

  • Secure Financing
    If you're planning to finance your vacation home, you'll need to secure a second home mortgage. Keep in mind, second home mortgages often require higher down payments and may also have higher interest rates and fees than a traditional mortgage as lenders may consider second homes to be a bit riskier. Be sure to get pre-approved by a lender before you start shopping.
     
  • Determine The Rental Opportunity
    When buying a vacation home, you'll also want to consider if you'll be planning to rent out the property while it's not in use. If so, you'll want to choose a home in a popular vacation market to maximize your rental income. Do some online research, and check rental websites like Airbnb to get a sense of how much income you can generate from rentals.

  • Consider The Tax Benefits
    When financing a second home, you'll have the benefit of being able to increase the mortgage interest you deduct from your annual income which can result in big savings. However, to achieve this, you will have to use the home as a vacation home. In other words, the primary purpose of the property can't be to generate income alone, you have to treat it as a vacation home first.

  • Find A Good Real Estate Agent
    No one knows the local market like a real estate agent. An agent can not only help you find the right dream home but can also stand in your corner and negotiate a deal. An agent is also a great resource for learning about the local rental market and connecting with property management and vacation rental companies.

A Florida vacation home doesn't have to be a dream. If you're planning to make a purchase in 2022, now is a great time to start your research. For more info on the Florida real estate market, contact us today.

December
20

Florida in the Winter: 6 Things to do

Florida Winter

Florida is known as the Sunshine State, but our real estate agents can also offer some fun suggestions for when it's a little bit colder out!

"Cold" is relative, of course – when you're looking at Bradenton homes for sale or Sarasota homes for sale, you can expect daytime temperatures in the mid-70s, even in winter. In the middle of December, evening temperatures rarely go below 55. Most Floridians look forward to a few weeks of brisk breezes!

This means that, although you probably won't want to hit the beach, there are still plenty of things you can do around the area.

Let's take a closer look at some of your options:

  1. John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art – 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota, FL 34243
    John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art is a unique Florida institution. It's closely intertwined with the history of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, known as "The Greatest Show on Earth." But it's also so much more: 21 galleries of European paintings, a rose garden, a highly regarded research library, and even a preserved 1905-train car. The Museum offers free admission every Monday.

  2. Sarasota Classic Car Museum – 5500 North Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34243
    For a taste of vintage automobile culture, Sarasota Classic Car Museum delights. Featuring a collection of around 100 vintage vehicles in a 60,000 square foot space, it draws visitors from far and wide. Particularly loved is the Italian Car Collection, sporting classics from Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, and Rivolta. Recent exhibits have given visitors a deep dive into the artistry and history of Porsche and Ferrari.

  3. Marietta Museum of Art & Whimsy – 2121 North Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34234
    Want a truly unique art experience? Marietta Museum of Art & Whimsy brings joy to the forefront with its off-beat and eclectic contemporary collection. Paintings, sculptures, and more from local artists and those around the world will give you a new perspective. The Museum also maintains an outdoor garden area. This extraordinary art collection is ideal for families, including the young and young at heart.

  4. Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium – 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota, FL 34236
    Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium showcases the immense biodiversity of Florida and the Atlantic. Accessible 365 days a year, you'll get the chance to meet manatees, sharks, sea turtles, otters, and many more denizens of the deep. This independent, nonprofit marine research lab maintains one of Florida's top aquariums, including a shark habitat of 135,000 gallons.

  5. Robinson Nature Preserve – 1704 99th Street Northwest, Bradenton, FL 34209
    Robinson Nature Preserve is a fast-growing protected area of 682 acres encompassing a breath-taking biosphere of mangroves, tidal marsh, and coastal wetlands that developed from former agricultural tracts. With a rubberized pedestrian trail leading across the grounds, you'll have plenty of opportunities to see nature up close and personal. Kayaking is greatly enjoyed and encouraged.

  6. Bradenton Riverwalk – 452 3rd Avenue West, Bradenton, FL 34205
    See historic Bradenton come to life as you explore one of the top riverwalk areas in the United States. The Bradenton Riverwalk is a 1.5-mile public green space that has been open to the public since 2012. It has continued to expand ever since, with kid-friendly amenities such as a splash pad, skate park, and playground. The 400-seat amphitheater is used for live music and other community events.

At Wagner Realty, we know Florida is great in any season! Contact us to discover more about Sarasota and Manatee Counties.

December
13

Bake Cookies Day: Holiday Cookie Recipes

This is the perfect time of year to gather in your kitchen and bake some cookies. Not only are the winter holidays quickly approaching, but December 18th is Bake Cookies Day! So, pull out that mixer, stock up on flour, and check out some of these cookie recipes our real estate agents recommend.

  • Gingerbread Biscotti
    Gingerbread is a classic choice in the winter, and this Gingerbread Biscotti recipe is a tasty riff on the old standby. The recipe makes 24 biscotti — enough for sharing — and comes together in less than 90 minutes. The molasses gives these biscotti a rich flavor, and of course, plenty of ginger makes them irresistible alongside a mug of coffee or hot chocolate.

  • Penguin Slice-and-Bake Cookies
    If you have kids, these Penguin Slice-and-Bake Cookies are sure to be a favorite. The recipe tells you how to prepare the dough and assemble it into a long cylinder. Refrigerate and later slice to yield adorable penguins. The cookies themselves are tender and sweet with that classic sugar cookie flavor.

  • Mini Linzer Cookies
    Take a break from looking at Sarasota homes for sale, and whip up a batch of these Mini Linzer Cookies. They're a traditional cookie that will take you back to a simpler time. The recipe was created by none other than Ina Garten herself. It calls for raspberry preserves, but you could use apricot or blueberry preserves if you happen to have them on hand.

  • Chocolate-Dipped Hazelnut Shortbread
    Some people love shortbread, and others find it bland. But this kicked-up version, Chocolate-Dipped Hazelnut Shortbread, is sure to bring a smile to your face. Not only do these cookies taste delicious, but they also look attractive when presented in a bowl or mug with their chocolate-dipped ends pointing upward. The recipe makes one dozen biscotti, which is just enough if you don't want a sugar overload.

  • Monster Marshmallow Cookies
    If you're tired from spending the day looking at Bradenton homes for sale, then these Monster Marshmallow Cookies are the perfect ones to make. The recipe is easy to follow and only takes about 20 minutes to prep. The cookies themselves are extra large and loaded with crisped rice, pecans, chocolate chips, and mini marshmallows.

  • Soft and Chewy Ginger Cookies
    If you find gingersnaps to be a bit too hard and crunchy, you'll like these Soft and Chewy Ginger Cookies. The sugar coating gives them just a hint of crispiness. Just make sure you plan ahead since the dough does need to chill for at least two hours, and preferably overnight.

  • Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
    These Chocolate Crinkle Cookies have a fudgy center, and they're rolled in powdered sugar for a lovely, crackled look. The recipe is surprisingly simple. The decadent cocoa powder makes the cookies nice and rich. You need to chill the dough for 2 hours, but the results are worth the wait.

  • Snowball Cookies
    Even in Florida, where the holidays tend to be green, Snowball Cookies are a tried-and-true favorite. This recipe makes delicious ones loaded with walnuts, although you could substitute toasted pecans if desired. Dusting the cookies with powdered sugar twice, as advised in this recipe, results in a thicker and sturdier coating that won't fluff away.

Make sure you set aside time to celebrate Bake Cookies Day this year! It's the perfect reason to use your kitchen this holiday season. If you're new to the area and still looking for a place to do all your holiday baking, contact us to learn more about our real estate services.

December
6

Holidays in a New Home: 7 Ways to Make the Most of it

New Home for the Holidays

After looking at various Sarasota homes for sale, are you finally settled into your new house? As much as you love your new place, it may not quite feel like home yet. You may still be unpacking, decorating, and making the space your own. How, then, does celebrating the holidays fit into this equation? Better than you think! Here are seven ways to make the most of the holidays in a new home.

  1. Attend Local Events
    Your home may not quite be set up for celebrating yet, but surely there are lots of local events that can put you in the holiday spirit. Look for tree lighting ceremonies, local shopping events, and winter festivals to attend. You'll get to know the area and your neighbors better in the process.

  2. Make a Special Meal
    Enjoying a special meal at home is a nice way to spend time with family. Even if you can't make your traditional holiday meal because some of your cookware is still packed away, take the time to make something else. You can make a delicious holiday roast in a slow cooker or bake a lasagne in the oven. 

  3. Start a New Tradition
    New home, new traditions! If you take the opportunity to start a new holiday tradition, you will always reflect back on your first year in this home each time you stick to that tradition in the future. You could create a new traditional meal. Or you could play a certain game, wrap gifts together while holiday music plays, dance to some favorite tunes, bake cookies — the possibilities are endless. 

  4. Decorate With What You Have
    Sure, most of your decorations might still be packed away. Some of them may not work well in your new home since you selected them for your old home. But how much fun can you have decorating for the holidays with what you have on hand? You can really exercise your creativity here. Make snowflakes out of paper plates. Create paper chains from takeout menus. Use cookie cutters to trace holiday shapes onto paper, creating ornaments. Your decorations won't be traditional, but that's half the fun.

  5. Take Baked Goods to the Neighbors
    If you enjoy baking during the holiday season, consider sharing some baked goods with your neighbors. This is a great way to get to know others in your community. Becoming friendly with your neighbors will make your house start to feel more like a home during the holiday season and beyond. You might find that some neighbors give you holiday baked goods in return, which is always comforting, too.

  6. Order From a New Restaurant
    If your kitchen items are still packed, and cooking isn't an option, take this opportunity to order from a new, local restaurant. You'll be supporting a local business, which will help you start to feel like a part of the community. Plus, you'll get to enjoy delicious food, which always puts you in a holiday mood.

  7. Host a Move-in Holiday Party
    If you have friends and family members in the area, invite everyone over for a combination move-in party and holiday party. Nobody will be surprised that your home is still filled with boxes, and helping you unpack can be part of the fun. Put on some holiday music, and work together to make your house a home.

These ideas are sure to make your holidays brighter! If you're still looking for Bradenton homes for sale, please feel free to contact us. We'll put you in touch with our real estate agents, who can simplify the home buying process for you.

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